Today I’m going to comment on a touchy subject or forbidden one, a question that has bothering me for a few weeks now.
Many months ago and since then all over the world and in many languages, there has been a chant done by women called “The Rapist is You”.
With the undeniable and depressingly lyrics, relatable worldwide for women on rape and for justice not being done. I did years of research on the impact of sexual objectification of women and girls on their access to justice in the UK. I know extensively about why crimes typically sexed males against females in the majority, are dismissed. I know that an example of our sexual objectification is that how the poor man feels being accused is more important than the impact on the victim. Because men are the subjects and we are the objects.
It took over 100 women to come forward for the Weinstein conviction, hardly a #MeToo victory when you consider it takes over 100 female voices saying “he did it” to outweigh one male voice saying “I didn’t do it”. The fact that women around the world can relate to manmade and run justice systems letting them down and victim blaming rape to protect their bros… is the reason for #MeToo. Not a great performance review. And so this chant was performed by women.
I was part of the Manchester version to be performed, fittingly, in front of a suffragette statue. Now these lyrics and the chant had one message. That rape, and enabling rapists is bad.
And so given that message which no decent human would disagree with, I was surprised and intimidated to find that we were protested against. A group of trans rights activists were protesting us performing a chant saying rape and enabling rapists is bad. Now I was confused by this. None of the lyrics mention transgender men, women or sex. Not a single one. The women wore black blindfolds like Lady Justice and the green bandana, as all women doing the chant across the world have done.
When we chanted, they shouted over us. When they were approached, told what the chant was about and asked why they were against it, they refused to answer but carried on. As a survivor I felt belittled and disrespected and intimidated. But more so, I didn’t understand. It seemed they were against us because we were a group of women.
I see from online activity that this is a theme. A lesbian talked about how lesbians shouldn’t be forced to have sex with a transwoman with a penis and she was hounded, but a male gay doctor stood up for gay rights and that was apparently OK. In fact looking at events where trans rights activists either harassed the venues, got people noplatformed or protested outside, they were all women events. But why?
Taking a look at the evidence didn’t help solve this. It tells us that it’s men who rape and murder transpeople. It also tells us that it’s men who rape and murder women. Women aren’t harming transpeople at all, men are…. so why aren’t they addressing male violence? Instead of two groups suffering from the same problem, coming together to address the issue of male violence, what we have instead seems to be an “our victimhood matters but yours doesn’t” thing going on.
Rape and domestic murder are at historical highs. The reasons for women to be afraid have far from gone away. And transpeople shouldn’t have to live in fear of rape and murder any more than anyone should. Who and what they are rightfully afraid of, is the same, and yet trans activists claim that women’s fears are hysterical and bigoted. But given the historically high rate, that’s simply not correct.
This shouldn’t be a narcissistic game of my fear matters and yours doesn’t…. that just reflects the objectification and dismissal the chant was about. This should be coming together to address male violence. Yet instead, we had a large group shouting abuse and protesting, because we said that rape and enabling rapists is bad…
After looking at the evidence, online and off, it looks to me like they just don’t like women, and so yet again, we are the ones being held accountable for the behaviour of men. Our skirts being too short, not leaving if he beats us and now it’s our fault trans people are murdered too.
By Gemma Aitchison @gemma_brett
Founder of YES Matters @matters_yes
YES Matters launch a new CSE rehabilitation youth service in Bolton on March 9th.